Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's a Girl!

...and a girl, and a boy, and a girl, and a girl, and a boy, and a boy. Cricket had her puppies today! Poor thing has been having false labor for a full week, and real labor for over 24 hours. I can't imagine having to give birth to so many babies. We'll post pictures soon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Run Girl, Run

After months of training, my running has just reached it's climax. This morning I ran 20 miles - running every step of the way, topping off my 40 mile week. I can even say it felt pretty good. And the best part is that the rest of my training is all down hill from here. I have three weeks to go till the marathon, but from today on I get to start decreasing my miles to rest my body for the last, big, 26.2 mile sprint on September 20th. 

Late Thursday Thirteen - My Mom

Today is my mom's birthday. In honor of today, here are 13 things I love about her.

1. My mom is a great shopper! I especially appreciate this about her because I hate to shop. If it weren't for her, and her great shopping skills I don't know that I would have any nice clothes. My parents have never been rich, but my mom has always made a point to look nice, and to remind me that it is important to look good. 

2. My mom loves family! She was raised an only child, and couldn't wait to get married and have a big family. She plans fun family get-togethers and has taught all of us what a great blessing it is to have family. 

3. My mom values her friendships! She takes time to cultivate her friendships. She loves hanging on to the friends she has had for decades, and also making new ones along the way. 

4. My mom is a model of fitness! She religiously goes to the gym several mornings a week and has for years. She has also run several marathons. For years we worked out together at the same gym. She is the best workout buddy I have ever had. 

5. My mom is incredibly generous! She is generous in every way - with her time, her money, her resources, her skills. She loves thinking of others and brightening their day. 

6. My mom is a great grandma! If she is needed to babysit grandkids, she will drop everything she is doing to come help out. She loves spending time with, and spoiling her grandkids.

7. My mom is a wonderful homemaker! She made dinner every night while we were growing up. She started working full time in my early teens. A lot of times she had to work nights, but she always made sure we had dinner. Whether that meant putting something in the crock pot in the morning, or preparing an entire meal, and then leaving directions to tell us when to put it in the oven. She also has taught me the importance of having clean and orderly home. 

8. My mom has incredible faith! I have always seen her as a rock. She is unwavering in her faith, and practices what she believes. 

9. My mom loves to learn! She had just begun a master's degree when she found out she was pregnant with her first child. From that time on, she has put family first, and although she has not had the opportunity to return to school since then, she is continually taking classes in the community and learning new skills. She also has the habit of looking up words in a dictionary whenever she comes across one that she can't define exactly. Because of that she has a huge vocabulary.

10. My mom is compassionate! She is always thinking of others, and giving when she can. She has been caring for my aging grandpa for several years now. Although she has no siblings to help lighten the load she insures that he gets lots of visits and phone calls, she schedules doctor visits, takes him to appointments, cuts his hair, washes his clothes, cleans his apartment, takes him Coke occasionally, and many other things.

11. My mom is courageous! When she was about 40 she decided to seek out her birth parents who had placed her for adoption at birth. After finding out that her father had been killed in war before she was born, and that her mother, after being contacted, refused to have any contact with her, she had the courage to move forward and develop family relationships with her birth father's family. She also showed lots of courage last year when she was in an awful car accident. She was stuck in her car along time before they were able to cut her out, and then she had to endure a month stay in the hospital recovering, followed by many months of physical therapy, with several roadblocks along the way. 

12.  My mom is a great gardener! She loves flowers and over the years has created an amazingly beautiful flower garden. She also plants a large vegetable garden every spring and shares her fresh garden produce all summer and fall. 

13. My mom loves my dad! The older I get, and the longer I am married I realized what a huge blessing this is. I am grateful that my parents have always tried their best to have a happy, successful marriage, not only for their sakes, but also for the sake of the whole family. 

I love you mom and hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Roadmap to Holland

Well, there has been lots on my mind this weekend, and lots I have wanted to write an update about. So quickly here's what has been going on:
  • Antalya got her first bee sting. We're glad to know she isn't allergic. Did you know children with Ds have a very high pain tolerance level? We heard that from a doctor when she was born. This weekend has reminded me of that. She cried for about 2 seconds when the bee stung her, and actually I think the crying was just because I scared her when I flicked the bee of her leg. 
  • Surgery is scheduled for October 20th. Hopefully we can get Antalya healthy and then keep her healthy until then. 
  • Cricket is having her puppies any day now. Luckily we found a family in our area that was thrilled with the idea of helping her give birth, and then caring for her and the puppies during the 8 week whelping period. In exchange they just want a puppy. Thanks Gina and family. 
  • We said goodbye to some good friends this weekend. Tara and OJ have left for Hong Kong where they will be living for the next few years. We will miss you guys!
Now on a completely different topic, I finally got a book I have been wanting to read for several months. It is called Road Map to Holland by Jennifer Graf Groneberg. It is about her journey with her son who was born with Down syndrome. 

I sat down to begin it this afternoon and found myself in tears as I recalled all the emotions of receiving Antalya's diagnosis. It will be two years ago next week that we received the news that our soon-to-be-born daughter had Down syndrome. The next few weeks were an incredibly intense, emotional roller coaster. It was so all consuming that we found we could think of little else. What did this diagnosis mean? What were the rest of our lives going to be like? How would we care for such a child? Would we love her as fully as we wanted to? How would we handle everything going on around us? It was all so surreal. 

Yet now, two years down this road, and it takes reading someone else's experience to even recall such emotions and thoughts. It is difficult to imagine a time when Antalya wasn't part of us, when we weren't completely and absolutely in love with everything about her, a time when the words Down syndrome weren't in my vocabulary. All of the fear and anxiety one feels at the beginning is so quickly replaced with so much love and awe that they have been entrusted with such a sweet spirit. 

Tonight I am reminded of what a blessing Antalya is in my life. She is my sunshine, and I would want her no other way than how she is. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Surgery Cancelled

The last couple days Antalya has been feeling so much better. Except for her runny nose and congestion you would never know she had been sick. We got all the last minutes things together yesterday afternoon, so that we would be ready to go this morning at whatever hour the surgery was scheduled for. 

Around 3:00pm yesterday I finally got the call from surgery to let us know the instructions for this morning, and what time to check-in at the hospital. During the course of that call of course they have to ask for a complete medical history - which included the fact that a week ago she had a fever of 103, and that she has been on antibiotics for a week. I told her she is looking good, and just has a little congestion left. Big mistake! She kind of freeks out and explains that it is very possible the anesthesiologist will not want to reschedule the surgery. Sounds fair enough - and I'm thinking we will just take a chance and hope she looks good enough for surgery. That is until she informs me that if we check-in for surgery and then the doctors decide she is not healthy enough and cancel it, then we must pay a $250 charge. 

I did the only 2 things I could think of. First I call my grandpa who happens to be a retired anesthesiologist to get his opinion of the situation, and second I called up our pediatrician to get another opinion on Antalya's health. 

It was decided that her chest sounds clear, but it looks like she has a sinus infection. Our doctor was nice enough to call the ENT office and get a yes or no answer on surgery. The surgeon was contacted and he said it was a NO!

Of course as luck would have it, this morning Antalya woke up with her nose completely clear and clean. I really do think she is just about has healthy as she gets, the problem is that she is so rarely completely healthy - thus the whole reason she needs the surgery in the first place. 

Anyways, whatever my feelings may be - what's done is done, and there is no way to reschedule for the surgery for today. I'm still waiting to get in touch with someone to reschedule. Unless they can squeeze us in sometime during the next two weeks, I think it will have to be put off until the later part of October. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Unplanned Pregnancy and Other Going Ons

Did I get your attention? It has been a busy several weeks - hence the neglect of the blog.  I feel like I have been going on turbo speed these last few weeks with so much going on. Do you think I can really name 13 things? I'll give it a try. This might get a little lengthy.

1. Unplanned pregnancy. Sorry family, it's not me. It's our dog Cricket. She is due with a large litter in two weeks. And yes, we do know who the boyfriend is - it's our other dog Digo. We thought we were safe having a fence between them while she was in heat, but I guess when it's true love, no obstacle is too great to overcome to be with your girl. Anyone looking for german shepherd puppy? We tried the whole puppy thing two years ago thinking that it would be a good way to earn some money. Let's just say I have never looked affectionately at a puppy since.

2. Surgery. Antalya has a T&A (tonsils and adenoids removed) scheduled for next Thursday. She had gone a whole month without getting sick, and I was starting to think that she just might be healthy for the surgery. That changed Tuesday night when she came down with something. She's had a fever, lots of congestion, and a hard time breathing at night. We went to the doctor today. Please keep her in your prayers that she can better before Thursday. She really needs this surgery so that she can stay healthy.

3. New Business. Jason and I have started an online business. It's still in the beginning phase, and we have a lot of work to do on the website, but we are excited that it is all up and running. Come check us out here and tell your friends.

4. Scout Camp. Jason has been gone all week at Scout Camp. We have really missed him. We can't wait for him to get back tomorrow.

5. Remodel. Our kitchen is coming along. We are still a long ways from finished, but we did get all the floor cabinets and the new countertop put in this week. I started unpacking boxes today. Tonight was the first night in a month that I had spices to cook with (note to self - if you ever do another kitchen remodel don't pack away everything thinking you will have your kitchen back in a week). 

6. New Birth. I have a new little niece. She was born on Monday and is SO cute. Her name is Lindsey Kate. 

7. Marathon. I'm down to five weeks before the big day. I'm getting anxious to be done with my long runs. Crossing the finish line will be a great moment!

8. United Angels Foundation. I have become a volunteer for this new non-profit support group for children with special needs. I'm really excited for this. We had a great Ds support group in our area when Antalya was born, but about a year ago it had to disband due to some legal issues. Everyone is super excited about this new group and I look forward to seeing a lot of faces I haven't seen in awhile and meeting new ones too. 

9. Book Club. Some other ladies and I are starting a book club. I'm in charge this month. We are reading The Giver by Lois Lowry. I remember reading this book years ago, and am excited to read it again.

10. New skills. Although I have already mentioned this one, we are just so excited that we can't say it enough - Antalya is walking! She has gotten so good and has completely given up her crawling. It has made a world of difference for her. She is so much happier, more content and easy going, and will now on occasion stop to cuddle with me for awhile. 

11. Partings. One of mine and Antalya's good friends is moving on Saturday to Florida. She found out 10 days ago that she was accepted into a graduate program that starts this week. In just one week she made the decision to quit her job, pack up her belongs, and move across the country. We will miss you Marie-Line, but wish you luck in your new adventure. 

12. Olympics. I have always looked forward to the olympics. This year is no different, although this year I haven't been able to find the time to enjoy them. Tonight I was planning on watching some of the events I have recorded, but this blog entry has taken a lot longer than I expected. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow night. 

13. Lack of sleep. In order to get my running in before my duties as mother begins in the morning, I am getting up way earlier than I would like. Add to that, Antalya being sick and not sleeping well and you can guess how I'm feeling right now.And so - I wish you all a good night. If I head to bed now, I can be asleep before 10pm - and right now, there is nothing that sounds sweeter. 

Monday, August 4, 2008

Catch Up

We've had a busy weekend. Here are some of what has gone on:

1. Our water is back on. Hooray!

2. Antalya is walking all the time. We are so thrilled. As her church nursery teacher told me yesterday, "The only time she crawled was when she crawled across the table to steal someone's cookie." We are so grateful that she is doing so well, and has such a determination to learn new things.

3. I went to my 10 year high school reunion. Although it was fun to see a couple people that I have lost touch with, this was the first and will be the last reunion I attend. I had hopes that it would be different from my expectations, but in the end it was everything I was expecting it to be (which wasn't much)!

4. Antalya spent the weekend with Gramma and Grampa. She had such a fun time. Thanks Mom and Dad for all your help!

5. I am running a marathon next month. Yes, I know it is one of the more insane ideas I have had lately. Saturday was my longest run yet - 19 miles. It was just as miserable as it sounds. Thanks Sarah and Liz for keeping me company through the pain. I'd like to say I enjoyed it, but that would really be a lie :) But it was great to spend time with you. And Sarah, just think - in a few more weeks it will all be over. Yeah!

6. Antalya had a very unsuccessful sleep study. She wouldn't let us cover her in all the wires while she was awake, so we waited until she fell asleep. Imagine trying to attach about 20 wires from head to toe, plus oxygen, plus sat monitors - all to a sleeping toddler. I'm sure you can guess what happened. She woke up half through the process terrified and hysterical. I think I would have had the same reaction were I to wake up to wires covering my body and a stranger trying to put more wires on me. So at 10:30pm we admitted defeat and headed to my parents house for some sleep.